Hi Amy. My name is Aldora & I have a couple of questions: I'm 38 weeks pregnant and I've lived with Type II diabetes since 1995. Are there any complications that I should know about considering that this is my first child? My only other question that I have is in regards to the labor pains; I know that it might seem rare (though I could be wrong in the matter) but should I worry also if I have a fear of dying during childbirth? Thank you very much for reading my inquiry & I appreciate any help.
Congratulations, Aldora! There’s no reason that women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes can’t have a safe and healthy pregnancy. The key is maintaining tight blood glucose control before and during pregnancy. High blood glucose levels can increase the risk of certain complications, such as miscarriage or birth defects. Also, existing diabetes complications, like retinopathy (eye disease) and high blood pressure can sometimes worsen during pregnancy. That’s why it’s crucial for women with diabetes who are pregnant – or want to become pregnant -- work closely with their diabetes care team to ensure that their diabetes is well-controlled. In fact, it’s important that you have an obstetrician who has experience with women who have diabetes. Many women with type 2 diabetes need to take insulin during pregnancy (this is often temporary). Frequent blood glucose checks and following a structured eating plan are also important. It’s also very common to have fears and concerns about your pregnancy and labor. Again, your team will work hard to make sure that you’re comfortable and that your blood glucose levels are controlled during your delivery. But I’d suggest that you talk to your healthcare provider or even a behavioral health specialist about your fear of dying. They can help address this fear and ease your mind, and also perhaps help you with stress reduction and relaxation techniques, too. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in this regard. Best wishes to you!